Clayton State men show tremendous heart in prevailing 62-55 at Georgia College
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – February 7, 2012 – Facing a lot of obstacles on Tuesday, the Clayton State Laker men's basketball showed plenty of heart, courage and perseverance in pulling off a thrilling 62-55 victory at in-state rival Georgia College in Peach Belt Conference action.
The victory is the fourth in the last five games for the Lakers, who improve to 14-7 overall and 6-6 in the Peach Belt. Georgia College had its five-game winning streak snapped, and the Bobcats fell to 13-8 overall and 6-6 in the Peach Belt.
"This has to be a very satisfying win for this team," said Gordon Gibbons, whose Lakers are now 8-4 in the Centennial Center. "We preach team and it was the team that got it done tonight. What a credit to everyone who stepped up and made the key plays."
The Lakers played without two starters, and senior wing and leading scorer Teondre Williams missed the final 10 minutes of the game with a non-serious injury. However, Clayton State shot 51 percent from the field and limited Georgia College to only 39 percent shooting.
However, Clayton State literally dictated tempo the entire game and kept the Bobcats out of their offensive rhythm. There were eight lead-changes and six ties in the first half before the Lakers went on a late rally.
Williams sank a baseline jumper, followed by a 3-point basket by Dukes to give Clayton State a five-point lead. Another jumper by Williams increased the Laker lead to 31-24 with 3:10 remaining. Williams added two free throws in the final 30 seconds to give the Lakers a 35-30 halftime lead.
Clayton stretched its lead to nine points twice early in the second half. Two lay-ups by forward Tyrone Black gave the Lakers a 43-34 lead at the 14:22 mark. A 3-point basket by Dukes gave Clayton State a 49-40 lead with 11:18 remaining.
However, Georgia College rallied behind the hot shooting of center Ryan Aquino. He drained a 3-point basket and made three free throws to cut the Clayton State lead to one point at the 8:24 mark. Aquino then sank a long 3-point basket from the left corner to tie the game 51-51 with 6:56 remaining.
But the Lakers answered on their ensuing possession as Reco Lewis drilled a 3-point basket from the top the key. Clayton State never trailed again after that moment.
Twice, Georgia College trimmed the lead to one point. However, Clayton State's Juron Dobbs followed a missed lay-up with a dunk with 45 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 3-point lead. Dobbs followed on the defensive end with a blocked shot off a lay-up attempt by the Bobcats' Tarrence Chatman.
Georgia College applied pressure defense, but Clayton State broke the press as Dukes fed Black for an easy dunk with 21 seconds remaining. Dukes then put the icing on the cake with two free throws with seven seconds remaining.
"Tony Dukes did a tremendous job running the team tonight," Gibbons said. "And the leadership of Dobbs and Torrin Greene was awesome. We had a great defensive effort tonight."
Dukes scored a career-high 19 points for the Lakers, followed by Black with a career-high 12 points. Williams scored 10 points and Greene added eight points. Aquino recorded a double-double for Georgia College with 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Clayton State travels to North Georgia on Saturday for a Peach Belt encounter at 3:30 p.m.